Retaining a High Performance Culture During a Merger: Financial Services

Retaining a High Performance Culture during a Financial Services Merger

Client Case Study

Situation

BT Financial is a funds manager with 2,906 employees. The company is a part of the Westpac Financial Services group and has recently been involved in Westpac’s merger with St. George Bank which, after integration, has added approximately 1,000 staff. BT has a long history of focusing on its internal performance culture.

BT was searching for:

  • The next step in further development of the BT Financial performance culture
  • A way of ensuring that the new St. George arrivals integrated well into the BT Financial culture

 

Complications

  • Integration: Cultural differences during a merger typically decrease organizational performance.

Approach

1. Setup
We used the High Performance Environmental Structures Diagnostic Tool to:

  • Identify the similarities and differences between the performance environments of the two merging companies
  • Identify the best two moves to help to ensure further development of the “BT performance environment”

2. Two Moves Identified

  • Improve measures of individual performance
  • Develop a more effective way to deal with the low performance population

3. Implementation
We employed a combination of the following services with the top 200 BT leaders:

  • Held the Senior Leadership Team accountable for High Performance Diagnostic targets
  • Tailored High Performance communication and development sessions toward the Two Moves (two cycles per year)
  • Supported the two moves through education, consulting, and coaching

Results

  • 40% of low performers exited the environment in a way that made sense to them and the organization
  • 40% of the population improved their performance
  • 15% transferred into roles where their skills were better suited

In the words of CEO Rob Coombe:

“We know for a fact that we can have a mediocre team that can achieve high performance if the best environmental factors are present. Following the High Performance Environment implementation, 40% of low performers exited the environment, 40% improved their performance, and 15% transferred into roles where their skills were better fitted. It was absolutely necessary for the 40% who left to leave the organization. The people who sabotage the place every day and hijack the organization are cancerous.

We have also been able to retain the majority of our top performers. This year, we only lost 5% of our top performers, which is unprecedented. The industry is plagued with double digit turnover of top performers. We have enjoyed high retention by rewarding high performance and employing the High Performance Environment model. Following a survey last year, the top performers said they were happier in every dimension.

The High Performance Environment approach has given us a consistent set of tools and language to drive high performance. The entire leadership team at BT Financial has adopted the High Performance Environment methodology and is very passionate about it.”

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